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  • Writer's pictureSean Vowells

Surprises/Disappointments of the MLB Season

The MLB season has passed the quarter mark as we head into the summer months. A couple of teams have gotten off to great starts while other ball clubs have not hit the ground running. In this article, we'll highlight a couple of teams that have had notable starts to the 2023 MLB Season.

Surprise: Tampa Bay Rays

As of this writing, the Tampa Bay Rays have the MLB best record of 32-11 and a run differential of +123. Despite losing a number of contributors after last season, the Rays have gotten off to a great start. They are pitching and hitting at a very high level, which might not be sustainable for the entire season, but is still impressive. Harold Ramirez, Yandy Diaz, and Randy Arozarena are all hitting over .300 with Josh Lowe and Wander Franco just under. Diaz and Arozarena have both hit 10 Home Runs already. On the pitching side, Shane McClanahan has continued to show that he is an ace-quality pitcher while Jason Adam has locked up the bullpen. The Rays did lose Drew Rasmussen for the season with an elbow issue.

Disappointment: New York Mets

The New York Mets have the highest payroll in the MLB. Their season took a hit before a pitch was even thrown, with All-Star closer Edwin Diaz out for the season with a Torn ACL. As of now, the Mets sit at 20-23 having played the easiest schedule in all of the MLB. The hitting has been very mediocre despite having many big names. The Mets currently sit at 19th in the league in runs scored. The Mets pitching, which was supposed to be a strength, has been very poor. Max Scherzer has a 4.88 ERA on the year while Justin Verlander has made just three starts. The Mets will have to turn things around quickly as they trail the NL East leading Braves by 6.5 games.

Disappointment: St. Louis Cardinals

At the beginning of the season, the Cardinals were heavy favorites to win the NL Central. As of today, they sit in last place with a 17-26 record and 7.5 games back of the leading Brewers. In the season so far, they have had a number of controversies including their brand new free agent catcher, Wilson Contreras. They announced that they were going to try Contreras in the OF. The move from Yadier Molina was always going to take an adjustment, but bailing on his replacement after just 40 games seemed premature. They have since walked that back (Contreras caught the Cardinals 18-1 win over the Brewers on 5/15). Their starting pitching has been atrocious, with none of them having a sub 4.00 ERA. The offense has picked it up, as one would expect with sluggers like Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. Being in a weaker division, there is still time left for the Cardinals to make another run at the NL Central crown.

Surprise: Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles surprised many last year as being far more competitive than they were supposed to be. They seemed to have picked up right where they left off, currently sitting in 2nd in the AL East with a 27-15 record. Adley Rutschman has proven he will be a star for a long time, currently hitting .285 with 6 HR and 22 RBI while also playing Gold Glove caliber defense behind the dish. The pitching hasn't been great, but it has been good enough to put the Orioles firmly in the playoff picture so far. Reliever Felix Bautista has been a shutdown pitcher out of the bullpen, throwing 19.0 innings to a 1.42 ERA so far. The Orioles have proved that they will be in the center of the Playoff Picture come October.

Photo from: Fansided

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